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Farley goes to the hat shop (transcript)

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As a character, Farley never had many dimensions, which is why he rarely appeared on Sesame Street after the early 1970s. He often appears in a sketch where his only source of help is an incompetent salesperson. He knows what he wants, but he can not clearly specify it to the salesperson.

Two flawless takes of the Farley goes to the hat shop sketch were shot on the same day, and both takes have appeared in Sesame Street episodes. Both takes are presented here in transcripted form to give the reader a glimpse of the spontaneity which occurs during the taping of an average Muppet sketch. They also showcase the performers' improvisational skills.

Jerry Nelson plays Farley, and Frank Oz plays Smilin' Jack the shopkeeper.


Take One

(episode 0355)
A hat shop, day. The shopkeeper is minding his business.
Shopkeeper (singing "Easter Parade") Do do do do, in my Easter bonnet, with all the pret ...
The door opens. Farley enters, humming.
Shopkeeper Hello there, son! What can I do for you today?
Hatshop1
Farley Oh, hi! Uh, gee, I'd like to buy a new hat.
Shopkeeper A new hat! Of course you would! Well, just step right around the counter here ...
Hatshop2
Farley Yeah ... okay ... (walks over to the shopkeeper)
Shopkeeper And let me help ya. Let ol' Smilin' Jack here help ya, okay?
Hatshop3
Farley Oh, good.
Shopkeeper OK there, uh, let's see, stand still. (gets a good look at Farley) Mm-hm. Mm-hm. Mm-hm. Good. OK, I got just the cap for ya, right here. (displays a large blue baseball cap)
Farley Oh, good.
Shopkeeper Here's the cap for ya. Just bend over.
He puts the cap on Farley's head; it's so big it covers Farley's eyes and nose.
Hatshop4
Shopkeeper Perfect! Oh, look at that color! Nice blue color. Now turn around, there's a mirror right behind ya.
Farley faces the mirror.
Shopkeeper Now look at that. Isn't that beautiful? Huh?
Farley Uh, something's wrong.
Hatshop5
Shopkeeper Nice line, nice -- wha, something's wrong, though. I heard ya, you're right, something is wrong. Let me see.
Farley Where'd you go?
Shopkeeper Right over here. (turns Farley in his direction) Just turn over here. Follow my voice. OK, uh ...
He removes the hat and looks at it.
Shopkeeper You don't want that hat! Did I give you this hat?
Farley Yeah.
Shopkeeper Oh boy, what did I do that for?
He sets the blue hat aside.
Farley Yeah, you see ...
Shopkeeper What you want ... is another hat ...
Farley Yeah, because ...
The shopkeeper gets out a yellow hat, which is the same size as the blue hat.
Shopkeeper You want a yellow hat!
He puts it on Farley's head -- again, it covers his eyes and nose.
Hatshop6
Farley That one is ... uh ...
Shopkeeper There's a yellow hat. Now look at yourself in the mirror.
He turns Farley in the direction of the mirror.
Farley Uh, but -- I -- no ...
Shopkeeper It's right behind you. See? See? Nice yellow hat. Perfect fit?
Hatshop7
Farley No, that's not it.
Shopkeeper But that's not it! Oh, are you smart! You've got a keen eye. Good taste.
Farley Yeah.
Shopkeeper Let me see that hat.
He takes it off Farley, and gets a good look at it.
Farley Yeah.
Shopkeeper I gave you this hat too, didn't I?
He sets it aside.
Farley You see, because that hat -- yeah ... because ...
Hatshop8
Shopkeeper (gets defensive) OK, don't explain it to me! I sell hats! I know my business!
He picks up the last hat on the table, a muffler hat.
Farley Yeah ...
Shopkeeper OK, let me see now, here's a ... here's the hat you want! A yellow hat?
He places it smack dab on Farley's small head once again.
Hatshop9
Farley No, I --
Shopkeeper But it has earmuffs. Now I'd take that. It's the last one in the place.
Farley (faces the mirror again) But ...
Hatshop10
Shopkeeper Just give me a dollar, please.
Farley Uh ... it's too big.
A beat.
Shopkeeper It's what?
Farley It's too big.
Hatshop11
Shopkeeper That hat is too big?
Farley Yeah.
Shopkeeper I've been selling hats for many years, but OK, I'll try it on, I'll prove it to you, it's not too big.
Farley But --
Shopkeeper OK, watch out.
He takes the hat off Farley and puts it on his own head.
Shopkeeper Look at this hat. Look at this.
They both look in the mirror.
Hatshop12
Farley Yeah, just ...
Shopkeeper Look how it fits. Isn't that beautiful? Huh?
Farley Yeah, but ...
Shopkeeper It's not too big; it's just right!
Hatshop13
Farley (looks at shopkeeper) Yeah, but ...
Shopkeeper ... But what?
Farley Well, gee whiz, you see, I've got a small head, and you've got a big head. Look in the mirror.
Shopkeeper Wait a minute ...
Hatshop14
He takes the muffler hat off, and examines his head in the mirror.
Shopkeeper Well -- look at that! My head is bigger than your head.
Farley Yeah, and you see, because I've got a small head, that hat is too big for me!
Shopkeeper Isn't that something! You're right. Hmm!
Farley Yeah, although it looks pretty good on you.
They both go back to the front desk.
Shopkeeper You don't want this hat, do you?
Farley No, I don't.
Shopkeeper Of course not!
Farley No.
Hatshop18
The shopkeeper puts the hat back on his head, and hits the table.
Shopkeeper I want this hat!
Farley Wha?
Shopkeeper It's a beautiful fit! I'll take it. Thank you. Just charge it, okay?
Farley Uh, but ...
Hatshop19
Shopkeeper (looks around) Nice store you have here!
Farley Uh ...
Shopkeeper You should get a hat yourself sometime. (exits the shop)
Farley But ... mister, I ...
The door shuts. Farley stands there, confused.
Hatshop20

Take 2

A hat shop, day. The shopkeeper is minding his business. Farley enters the shop.
Shopkeeper Hey there! Hi, son, what can I do for you today?
Farley Oh, hi, uh, I'd like to buy a new hat.
Shopkeeper Well, you came to the right place! Just step around here by the counter, just step right around here.
Farley Oh, OK. (walks over to the shopkeeper)
Shopkeeper (gets a good look at Farley) Now let me look at you. What kind of cap would you like to have? Uh ...
Farley Well, uh ...
Shopkeeper Yeah, right, I know what kind you want, here it is, a beautiful blue cap! (displays a large blue baseball cap)
Farley But ...
Shopkeeper Just bend right down there ...
He puts the cap on Farley's head; it's so big it covers Farley's entire face.
Farley Uh ...
Shopkeeper There it is! Perfect size for ya!
Farley But -- but -- but ...
Shopkeeper Just look in the mirror right there.
Farley What happened? ...
Shopkeeper The mirror's right there.
Farley faces the mirror.
Farley Uh ... (muffled) some, something's wrong ...
Shopkeeper Isn't that beautiful? Uh, something's wrong, though, you're right, you're right, I saw that too.
Farley But... (turns around)
Shopkeeper (removes the hat and looks at it) Uh, let me see there. It's the wrong color, isn't it? Yes, the wrong color.
He sets the blue hat aside.
Farley No, you see it's ...
Shopkeeper Let me, uh ...
Farley No, let ... but ... but ...
The shopkeeper gets out a yellow hat, which is the same size as the blue hat.
Shopkeeper How about this? How about this beautiful yellow one, how's that? Right there!
He puts it on Farley's head -- again, it covers his eyes and nose.
Farley Uh ... uh ...
Shopkeeper There! Just turn around, the mirror's right behind ya!
He turns Farley in the direction of the mirror.
Shopkeeper Just -- that's it. How's that, huh? Is that a hat or is that a hat?
Farley That's not it.
Shopkeeper That's not it, though. You're right, it's a hat, but it's not YOUR hat!
Farley Yeah, you see, because ...
Shopkeeper Uh, what's wrong with that hat?
Farley Ah ... ow ...
Shopkeeper (takes it off Farley's head and sets it aside) Uh, I'll take it off here, it's, I know what's wrong! You've got a keen eye!
Farley It ... but ...
Shopkeeper What's wrong is ...
Farley Yeah, uh, you see, it's ...
Shopkeeper ... you need earmuffs on your hat!
He picks up the last hat on the table, a muffler hat.
Farley No -- n-no -- ah -- no ...
The shopkeeper places it smack dab on Farley's small head once again, and turns him towards the mirror.
Shopkeeper Here's a nice yellow hat with earmuffs, now just turn around, there's the mirror ...
Farley No -- what the --
Shopkeeper Look at that beautiful hat! Look at that hat!
Farley (sigh)
Shopkeeper What a handsome man you are!
Farley It's too big.
Shopkeeper It's too ... (pause) ... what?
Farley I, I said, "It's too big."
Shopkeeper Now wait a minute. OK, I'll try it on. I'll show you it's not too big. It's a perfect fit.
Farley Ah -- but --
The shopkeeper takes the hat off Farley and puts it on his own head.
Shopkeeper Stand back, I'll just put 'er on here ...
They both look in the mirror.
Shopkeeper What a beautiful fit this is! Look at that! Fits beautifully!
Farley Yeah, well, you see, I got a small head, and you've got a big head. Look in the mirror.
The shopkeeper takes the muffler hat off, and examines his head in the mirror.
Shopkeeper Look at that! You're right. I've got a big head, and you've got a small head.
Farley Yeah, and because I've got a small head, that hat is too big for me!
Shopkeeper You're right! You don't want this hat!
Farley No, I don't.
The shopkeeper puts the hat back on his head.
Shopkeeper I want this hat.
Farley Huh?
Shopkeeper Right. Just charge it, okay? (proceeds to leave the shop)
Farley But --
Shopkeeper It's a great hat! (looks around) It's a nice store you have here, too!
Farley Uh -- but --
Shopkeeper You should get a hat for yourself someday. (exits the shop)
Farley But, uh, but, mi--
The door shuts. Farley stands there, confused.

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